Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
January 13, 2022 to November 10, 2022
Site
Thacher State Park, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
PO-00732399
This position requires that you become enrolled in AmeriCorps.  If you are selected for this program please be sure to accept AmeriCorps during the SCA offer process.  No travel allowance will be offered for this position even if it is stated on your confirmation of acceptance.

Due to Covid-19, events and trainings are subject to change in response to an increase in the number of cases in the Hudson Valley region. Specific duties aligned with this position may also be subject to change. Such changes include, but are not limited to: trainings being eliminated or held remotely, elimination of large-scale gatherings, reduction of education programs, and a transition to teleworking.  


SCA Hudson Valley AmeriCorps partners with State and non-profit agencies to address the conservation needs of the Hudson River Watershed region. Corps members are placed at individual host sites, where service activities range from providing environmental education to underserved youth, to restoring streambanks along the Hudson River, and beyond. Members join together regularly for trainings, service projects, or other events. 
 
This position is located in Thacher State Park, near Voorheesville, NY.

Purpose of the Program: Thacher Nature Center is part of Thacher State Park, encompassing over 2,000 acres and including Thompson’s Lake Campground. The park a significant geologic site and is recognized for its diversity of habitats, which include cliffs, caves, wetlands, vernal ponds, forests, and a natural lake. The mission of Thacher Nature Center is to connect children and families with the natural world, inspiring values of stewardship and conservation. Exhibits and displays at the Nature Center include a live honeybee observation hive, live turtles, a bird observation area, hands-on collections, and seasonal activities. The Nature Center offers a wide variety of programs and events, including an annual Nature Art Show, citizen science and wildlife monitoring projects, native plant demonstration gardens, annual Native Plant Sale, invasive species control projects, school field trips and outreach programs, annual Hawk Migration Watch, guided hikes and snowshoe walks, and a Junior Naturalist program.
 
Community Needs that the Program Serves: The Nature Center provides educational and interpretive programming for a diverse population including local rural communities and nearby urban communities in New York’s capital district. School programs provide valuable experiential learning for students who may have little experience interacting with the natural environment. Public programs provide educational and recreation opportunities to help connect people with their environment and foster stewardship and conservation values.


Values and Standards of the Program: SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land. 
 
AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities: The Environmental Educator will present programs for school groups and public programs for all ages and abilities. As a staff person at the Nature Center, the member will be friendly and approachable, greeting and interacting with visitors, answering questions and providing information. The member will perform stewardship and conservation projects including invasive species management, habitat improvement, nest box monitoring, trail camera wildlife surveys, and maintenance of native plant demonstration gardens. Member will support and assist with our annual Nature Art Show, Native Plant Sale, and I Love My Park Day. The member may also assist with trail development and improvement projects. Projects involve working both independently and on a team and may involve recruiting and supervising volunteers. Interns are encouraged to pursue development of programs and projects in their area of interest.
 
How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: The Environmental Educator will support the Nature Center’s mission to connect children and families with the environment through educational programs, fostering stewardship and conservation values.
 
Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
            Goal 1: Present Environmental Education programs for school groups and the public, interact with visitors at the Nature Center, offering informal interpretation, answering questions and providing information on a wide range of topics.
 
            Goal 2: Accomplish stewardship projects including invasive plant control, maintenance of native plant gardens, and nest box monitoring.
 
            Goal 3: Expand skills in program development and presentation.
 
Candidate Qualifications:
  • Valid driver’s license for 3 years prior to start
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Member must have bachelor’s degree in Education, Biology, Environmental Science, or other natural science.

Skills:

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work independently or with a partner;

Coursework, experience, and baseline knowledge of natural sciences;

A genuine desire to work with children, and some prior experience; 

Passion and commitment for environmental conservation;  

Interest in teaching and learning about the natural world and modeling stewardship and conservation values 

Desired:

A background in education is valuable, but the most important qualities to possess are enthusiasm, positive energy, and desire to learn.

Artistic skills in graphic design or other visuals art are a plus.

Computer and technology skills are a plus.

Training in Environmental Education program development and presentation will be provided.




Knowledge: Coursework, experience, and interest in natural sciences, wildlife biology, environmental education, or related field, and experience working with children.

  • Passion for environmental conservation.
  • Training in Environmental Education program development and presentation will be provided.


Benefits:
All Hudson Valley Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance
Upon successful completion of the term, members receive a taxable Full-time Segal Education Award through AmeriCorps.
Student loan forbearance and interest repayments for federal student loan through AmeriCorps.
Eligible for free health insurance
Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps

Training Opportunities:
All Hudson Valley Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, Project WILD curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Quick Start Your Canoe, and other opportunities that arise.
 

  • Located in rural Albany County, west of the Capital District region of New York, Thacher Nature Center provides programming for both rural and urban communities. Thacher Park is a significant geologic site and a Bird Conservation Area, protecting over 2000 acres of habitat. Woodlands, wetlands, fields, cliffs, and lake shore provide an outdoor classroom for children who have limited access to natural areas.
  • The host site will offer instruction in effective methods of environmental education and interpretation and encourage intern’s obtaining additional training as available. Member will receive training in invasive plant identification and control methods.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Biology
some coursework or experience
Communications
some coursework or experience
Education
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Bird Identification
some experience
Field Research
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience
Public Speaking
some experience
Working with Children
competent without supervision